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Capital Area Master Naturalists

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McKinney Falls State Park

Dining Hall
5808 McKinney Falls Parkway
Austin, TX 78744
United States

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December 7, 2019

Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 4:30 PM


Dorothy Young 512-680-7160
John Barr   512-469-0121
Marjie Palmer 512-350-5050
Pamela Owen 512-232-5511
Kristen Williams 512-415-8793
Nicholas Cowey Nicholas.Cowey@LCRA.ORG (512) 497-3841


9:00 – 9:10 Class assembles (check-in, snacks, social time) Curriculum Committee, Food & Fun Committee
9:10 – 9:15CAMN business, announcements
9:15 – 9:25Mini Interpretations3 students
9:25 – 9:40TaxonomyMarjie Palmer
9:40 – 10:40Introduction to Mammals & Skull Key activityDr. Pamela Owen Introduced by Dorothy Young
10:40 – 10:50Break (10 min.)
10:50-12:05Mammalian Diversity ReviewDr. Pamela Owen 
12:05 – 12:30Lunch (25 min)
12:30 – 1:20Scat ActivityMeredith & Peggy   Introduced by Marjie
1:20 – 2:05
Animal Signs & tracking in the classroomNicholas Cowey
Introduced by John
2:05 – 2:30Field Activity – Scent StationsNicholas & John
2:30 – 2:40Break (10min)
2:40 – 3:00Intro to McKinney Falls, Volunteer activitiesKristen Williams or VISTA
3:00 – 4:00Guided Hike for animal signNicholas, John, McKinney personnel
4:00 – 4:05Closing (reminders, evals, etc)
4:05 – 4:30Clean Up

What to expect

Attendees should tell the park staff at the park entrance that they are with CAMN and they will be given a parking permit at no charge. Follow the signs to the dining hall – there is a big parking lot.

There are bathrooms in the facility as well as a kitchen. The heaters make a lot of noise so sometimes we turn them off – please dress accordingly – layers are always good.

The chairs get cold so you may want to bring something to sit on.

There will be outdoor activities as well as classroom presentations.

The amount of time spent outdoors will depend on the weather, but at the very least there will be 45 minutes outside. Wear comfortable clothes for the weather.

**A 10-minute interpretive exercise will be held at the end of class**

Class Coordinators: John Barr, Dorothy Young, Marjie Palmer

Class Speaker

Pamela R. Owen, Ph.D.

Associate Director of the Texas Memorial Museum at The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Owen is associate Director of the Texas Natural History Museum at the University of Texas at Austin. She is a mammalogist and vertebrate paleontologist as well as an informal science educator, providing teacher professional development and specimen-based public outreach programs in the natural sciences for over 17 years.

Phone: (512) 232-5511

Kristen Williams

Kristen Williams is the Interpreter and Volunteer Coordinator at McKinney Falls State Park. She comes to us with many years of experience including backcountry trip leading in Northern Wisconsin, Zookeeping at the Fort Worth Zoo, and most recently two years as the Interpreter and Volunteer Coordinator at Bastrop and Buescher State Park where she worked closely with the Lost Pines Master Naturalist chapter. Originally from Michigan, she enjoys the milder Texas winters but will never get used to the heat of the summers.

Phone: (512) 415-8793

How to Prepare
  • We will be spending several hours outside with various tracking activities. There will not be long hikes involved, but we will spend a good amount of time (up to 2 hours) outdoors mostly standing. Wear closed toed shoes!
  • Bring a lunch with you! And a mug for coffee or tea 🙂
  • Never forget a handy notebook and pen and your trusty name badge!
  • Binoculars and a loupe might come in handy (but are optional)
  • Also, carpooling is really really cool!
  • Curriculum Chapter to Read: Mammals
  • Reference Documents:

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